Stations Of The Cross Underhill

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Fourteenth Station — Jesus Christ Is Laid In The Sepulcher, by Evelyn Underhill

April 19, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier Death as the Gate of Life It is surely the strangest, least-to-be guessed-at paradox of the spiritual life, that Wisdom’s path should lead – so far as our poor vision may trace it – not to those hard-won heights of the spirit which are reached by the bridge of the cross, but back again to the bosom of Earth, our mother.  Earth to earth.  Not even those courageous souls who aspire to the final, utmost transmutation – who have paid the dreadful price of their adoption as hidden sons of God – escape this. Humility, the law of the cross, sees to it that we find our level: that death be tasted in its fullness by every postulant of life.  Those who attempt [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Thirteenth Station — Jesus Christ Is Laid In The Arms Of His Mother, by Evelyn Underhill

April 17, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Embraced by Human Love It has been said by a great preacher that “Jesus dead in the arms of Mary is the central fact of the world’s tragedy.”  Here we see it at last in its results – what, left to ourselves, we would do to Perfection if he would let us: the foolish cruelty, the destructive instincts of the separated human will apart from grace, from God. Yet poignant though this picture be, terrible in its revealing power, perhaps it were truer to say that this cradling of the dead Christ in the arms of his human mother is the “central fact” which brings to a point the highest honor that humanity has yet attained. Upon my flowery [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Twelfth Station — Jesus Christ Dies Upon The Cross, by Evelyn Underhill

April 13, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Declares His Plan to Men The mediaeval illuminators were accustomed to draw the Tree of the Cross growing out of the Heart of God.  It bore seven roses; and in each rose was written the word, Love.  In the midst of this divine inflorescence, Perfect Love hung and suffered for the salvation of men: as he may be felt, seen, and known by his lovers, hanging, suffering, dying every day.  On every Christian altar we exhibit, not only the drama of faith, but this eternal process of the world. It is plain, then, that this process must also be the process of the soul’s initiation.  It is a death process; and a death not of the body alone.  We are [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Eleventh Station — Jesus Christ Is Nailed To The Cross, by Evelyn Underhill

April 9, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Bound by Love to His World The cross, says Traherne, “is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that illuminateth all the world.  The flame is love; the love in his bosom who died on it.  In the light of which we see how to possess all the things in Heaven and Earth after his similitude.” God’s way of possessing us, then, is to give himself for us: and thus only, by self-giving in the interests of life, can we possess all things after his similitude.  We, stretching ourselves gladly on the rood of the world, receive that world as our eternal heritage.  “To give all for love is a most sweet bargain.”  It is the bargain struck [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Tenth Station — Jesus Christ Is Stripped Of His Garments, by Evelyn Underhill

April 6, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Mysteries of the Eternal Wisdom Given into the Hands of His Foes “They parted his garments amongst them” – visible creation, which is the vesture of God.  The scientist and the artist snatched their share.  The lover took the inner-most garment for himself.  But they left the Eternal Wisdom, whose veils these things had been – who, robed in them, had gladly shared the meanest life of men – to sacrifice himself for them alone: unloved by them. It has been said that man shall not behold God in his nakedness, and live.  Even the manifestation of the Word was under the veil of the flesh.  The Uncreated Light reaches us – such a glimpse as we are [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Ninth Station — Jesus Christ Falls For The Third Time, by Evelyn Underhill

April 2, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Shares the Utmost Weakness of His World There are four steps, says Richard of Saint Victor, upon that steep stairway of love by which the soul climbs up to its home in the heart of Reality.  Their ascent involves a transmutation of that soul: a purging and readjustment of its qualities, that it may live and breathe in the rarefied air of the heights. The last, the most astonishing of these changes, that which heralds our actual attainment of God, he declares to be a complete humiliation, a glad and willing conformity to the ineffable lowliness of Christ.  Suddenly, unexpectedly, the soul that was almost transmuted in the image of God is here [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Eighth Station — The Women Of Jerusalem Mourn For Our Lord, by Evelyn Underhill

March 30, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Soul as a Spectator of the Divine Tragedy Human Love in Our Lady, Contemplative Love in Saint John, Ministering Love in Veronica, Male Energy in Simon of Cyrene – all these, according to their several dispositions, trod faithfully and with courage the Way of the Cross.  But there was a group which watched: unwilling to be implicated in his sufferings, yet full of tearful sympathy when he passed by. The daughters of Jerusalem were the heirs of an old tradition: not inimical to spiritual beauty, not insensitive to the passing by of God.  They wept when the world sent Perfect Love to the cross.  But the Eternal Wisdom does not accept the sentimental grief of [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Seventh Station — Jesus Christ Falls A Second Time by Evelyn Underhill

March 26, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom stoops to the limit of His Creature All pagan peoples have thought, as it were by instinct, of serene and comfortable gods: holders of power, with none of power’s penalties: givers of grief, who knew nothing of pain.  Even those who most clearly manifested the Divine energy – as Apollo – did so by the easy and beautiful exhibition of strength without stress. But the Christian ideal, it seems, is something very different from this: it is the holy Spirit of Life triumphing in weakness, matter racked to the uttermost in order that its divine potentialities may be brought forth.  It is the bitter upward climb towards complete [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Sixth Station — The Face Of Jesus Christ Wiped By Veronica, by Evelyn Underhill

March 23, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier Humanity’s Second Opportunity: Loving Receptivity In Veronica and her action we have a singularly exact, as well as a beautiful, symbol of the receptive attitude in which we stand towards God’s image: the conditions under which it may be imprinted on our souls. More, we may discern here not merely a symbol of this his utmost gift to us, but also something of our duty in relation to it.  Along with our share in the mysteries of his eternal sacrifice, we receive the necessity of passing on the Divine Imprint.  “Donner est chose naturel à Dieu.” [Literally, To give is a natural thing to God.]  It must become a second nature to his sons.  His passion [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Fifth Station — The Cross Is Laid On Simon Of Cyrene, by Evelyn Underhill

March 19, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier Humanity’s First Opportunity – Active Cooperation If we – as one of the penalties inseparable from human devotion to great causes – feel as we rise higher a growing desire to disallow our kinship with the ordinary and unspiritual: what, then, must it have been for Perfect Strength and Perfect Liberty, self-limited to the point at which he became tempted in all things as we are, to find that his very mission of redemption could not be performed with the help of other men? The Incarnate God alone could not carry the cross.  He must have man – mere normal male energy – to help him on his way.  The solidarity of mankind – more, of all life – the [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Fourth Station — Jesus Christ Is Met By His Mother by Evelyn Underhill

March 16, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Encounters Human Love It is surely humanity’s most poignant moment when the best that it has produced confronts the best that the spiritual universe has given. Then, as at no other station of our journey, the awful travail of the Eternal Wisdom is revealed to the soul in whom he has been born, and who has learned to love him as her dearest possession, adore him as her God. In this supreme hour she looks into the eyes of that Perfection who is at once her creator and her son: the most intimate of all mysteries, the most mysterious of all intimates.  That glance brings with it the full realization of her impotence, as well as of her love.  [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Third Station — Jesus Christ Falls For The First Time, by Evelyn Underhill

March 12, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Shares the Humiliation of His Creature Christ’s soul, say the mystics, came into the world in order to show man’s soul the one and only way out of the world. It needed such an exhibition if man were ever to believe that this strange path – as it seems, one long, dull sequence of squalid ineffectual miseries – is the veritable road which leads from Illusion to Reality.  It needs, too, a faithful watching on man’s part, a sincere acceptance of the thing seen, however amazing, however disconcerting it may be, if he is to tread honestly in the steps of his pattern and come at last to the summit of the hill. The neophyte, coming full of [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Second Station — Jesus Christ Receives The Cross, by Evelyn Underhill

March 9, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Takes Up the Burden of the World That outpouring of the Divine Wisdom, that life-giving link made between human and divine, which we call the Incarnation of the Word, is from first to last a free gift; a sacrifice of the fullness of divine perfection, that thereby humanity’s true measure may be fulfilled – “man’s nothing perfect” amended by the influx of “God’s all-complete.”  It is the penalty of this descent of the Desirous God towards us – of this sharp exhibition of the dim-eyed soul of Eternal Wisdom at work within his world – that the full burden of man’s mistakes, confusions, ignorances, and sins should be taken [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: First Station — Jesus Christ Is Condemned To Death, by Evelyn Underhill

March 5, 2014

From The Path of Eternal Wisdom, written under the pseudonym, John Cordelier The Eternal Wisdom Judged by His Creatures The Eternal Wisdom, since he comes in one disguise or another before each one of us, is judged by each one of us: for in his presence it is beyond our power to remain indifferent. Where the living Christ is concerned, our very assumption of apathy is really a taking of sides.  “He that is not with me, is against me.”  Sooner or later, in one form or another, this forced option confronts us.  Our will inclines – be it ever so little – this way or that, towards the self or the non-self, the unreal or the real: and, hardly aware perhaps of the awfulness of the moment, we have delivered our verdict upon God. It [...]